Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is pleased to announce a new installation by Daniel Arsham, comprising a single wall-intervention in which a solitary figure will appear hidden behind the gallery walls. Following recent collaborations with Pharrell Williams and James Franco, this project will coincide with Arsham’s participation in Post Pop: East Meets West, a comprehensive survey show celebrating the legacy of Pop Art at Saatchi Gallery in London.
Challenging notions of materiality, Arsham plans to distort the gallery’s architecture. Enveloped within white drapery, it is unclear whether the figure behind the wall has been entrapped in plaster, or whether he is seeking refuge from an external force. Coercing materials to behave in unexpected ways, the artist’s intervention seeks to transcend the boundaries of the white cube by physically altering its framework.
Discussing his architectural interventions, Arsham explains: ‘in all of these works, I alter something that everyone knows. I manipulate the surface of architecture or the material of it. Sometimes it’s a surface and sometimes it’s the depth of the wall. I’m always looking for various ways that I can transform these things. They stretch like fabric, sometimes appear to be eroding like a natural formation, creeping back into the architecture, and sometimes they appear to be melting. These different states of transition inspire my work. Oftentimes there are figures that interact with the architecture by wrapping themselves up in the walls or appear to be hiding behind the surface. They’re always doing so in a very subtle way, which allows the viewer to believe that these things are actually happening, like the wall is stretching and could be eroding.’
Architecture has been an ongoing interest for the artist. In 2004, legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham invited Arsham to create the stage design for his work eyeSpace, following in the footsteps of Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol. Subsequently, Arsham toured with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for performances in Australia, France and multiple locations in the United States. Arsham has since developed an ongoing collaboration with Jonah Bokaer, a former dancer in Cunningham’s company, staging performances between Bokaer’s choreography and Arsham’s sculptural pieces. A new performance is scheduled at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York for the end of 2015.
Daniel Arsham’s solo exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia; Miami Art Museum and Locust Projects, Miami. Arsham’s work has also been shown at MoMA PS1, New York; The Athens Bienniale, Greece; The New Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and Carré d’Art de Nîmes, among others. Arsham’s work is included in many public collections, including the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; Louis Vuitton Collection, Paris and The Four Seasons Miami Collection, Miami.
Coinciding with Art Basel Miami Beach, Arsham currently has a solo show at Locust Projects, Miami comprising a site-specific installation in which the artist has transformed the gallery into an excavation site. In 2015, Arsham will have a one-person show at Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, the first large-scale exhibition Arsham has had in his home state.